Weirdest Animals We’ve Bred Into Existence
Animal breeding isn’t easy. Let's see some of the most horrifying pets we’ve bred into existence.Animals
Animal breeding isn’t easy and should only be carried out by people who know what they’re doing. Selective breeding allows humans to choose certain animal traits and characteristics over others, but this doesn’t always go according to plan, and can often lead to serious genetic health issues.
These issues, like exaggerated features, problems breathing, or reproductive failure, result in some odd-looking creatures that probably wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for our meddling. Let’s find out more by taking a look at some of the most horrifying pets we’ve bred into existence.
This animal might look like an ugly dinosaur, but it is actually a goat. Herders in the Middle East bred Damascus goats for their milk, meat, and skin, as these creatures famously produced the best milk and cheese. Nowadays, people like to keep these goats as exotic pets thanks to their unusual looks.
While often counted among the world’s ugliest animals, Damascus goats fetch high prices and star in goat beauty pageants (yes, they exist) and breeders will do their best to ensure that the more extreme characteristics of these animals are passed on to their offspring until they turn out looking like a demon even the Devil couldn’t love.
The oddest thing about these beasts is the contrast between the adult and the kid; they go from delightful to demonic in just a couple of years. Puberty can be a pretty rough ride!
When a male jaguar and a lioness get together, they create a hybrid called a jaglion. But this fierce, velvety, demonic-looking creature isn’t a natural outcome of big cats mating. Jaguars and lions don’t ever get together in the wild, because jaguars live in the jungles of the Americas, while lions lounge in the African savannah.
This unlikely cross-species dating only happens in man-made environments, like zoos or animal sanctuaries, which means they’re completely unnatural creatures. Big cats are often acquired as pets for the super-rich, so you might expect to see a jaglion climbing out of a private jet on Instagram any day now.
Bubble Eyed Goldfish
Goldfish are easy to look after, forgetful, and not exactly exotic unless you’ve ever seen the Bubble-Eyed Goldfish. Back in 1900, fish fanciers bred them from the similar but not as spectacular Celestial Eye Goldfish.
The bubbles are sacs under their eyes filled with fluid, and this unnatural mutation makes the Bubble Eye a slow swimmer, so they can’t reach food very fast and other fish tend to steal their lunch. Because of these fragile bubbles, the fish risk death from infection if they meet a sharp object, such as gravel on the bed of the tank, or another aggressive fish sharing their home.
Even the filtration system on the tank can be fatal as a powerful high current can bust open their bubbles. So, even though this goldfish looks like a unique little alien to add to your aquarium, just remember that a fragile fish who can’t swim well isn’t what nature intended.
Chinese Crested Dogs
Many Chinese Crested dogs can be beautiful, but some of them turn out a little different. Dog breeders developed the Chinese Crested variety from hairless dogs and bred them to be smaller, companion pets. They’re supposed to be hairless everywhere except their head, feet, and tail.
However, hairlessness is not a totally dominant trait, and its variations can produce some odd-looking individuals. The breed has quite a lot of issues. They get cold because of their lack of fur, so need to cover up in the winter. Not with wool, though, because they’re allergic to that.
Also, unlike other dogs, they don’t need to pant to cool down because they have sweat glands, so they can get sweaty. Thanks to its flaws, this breed is a constant winner at the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.
Ukrainian Levkoy Cat
This Ukrainian Levkoy cat looks kind of like a hell-beast. With its huge green eyes, hound-like ears, and furless, ash-colored body, it looks like it was born in the fiery pit itself. This breed of cat came about in the year 2000 when breeder Elena Biriukova crossbred a Scottish Fold with a Donskoy.
The Ukrainian Levkoy breed is so new that it’s only been recognized since 2010, and only in Ukraine and Russia. Elena Biriukova chose two distinctive feline mutations – folded ears and hairlessness – to create this cat. Fortunately, these hell-cats don’t seem to have any genetic health problems, except for sensitive skin.
Naked Neck Chicken
Chickens make loyal and affectionate pets, and you get fresh eggs as a bonus. Even though breeds of chicken can vary significantly in looks, you always tend to know you’re looking at a chicken. Unless you come across the Churkey, that is. Or, if you prefer, the Turken. This is the Transylvanian Naked Neck Chicken, which has the body of a chicken and the head of a turkey.
Not in a science-experiment-gone-wrong kind of way, but as the result of a genetic mutation in Romanian chickens. The Naked Neck was developed in Europe in the 1800s to establish a hardy, disease-resistant chicken, but their mutation did not serve them well. Fewer feathers make them easier to pluck, so they’re much likelier to end up as drumsticks.
What do Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, George Washington, and Napoleon all have in common? They all rode Arabian horses. Bedouin desert tribes originally bred these creatures as war horses. They possess a delicate dished face which is one of the Arabian horses’ distinctive traits that set them apart from other equines.
Speaking of distinctive traits, meet El Rey Magnum. The strange result of careful breeding, El Rey is according to his owners, ‘perfection’, which seems to mean looking like a cartoon horse from a Disney movie.
Equine vets, on the other hand, describe the unnatural appearance as ‘horrific’. El Rey’s nose is so seriously flattened that he may struggle to breathe, especially when he’s exercising. Not exactly war horse material.
The Lykoi looks like a cat that you wouldn’t want to mess with. The word ‘lykoi’ means ‘wolf cat’ in Greek, and you can see how the name fits.
Cat breeders discovered a natural mutation within domestic black short hair cats that prevented an undercoat from growing beneath their fur, which gives these cats their greyish, lycanthropic appearance. The Lykoi breed is very new, dating from only 2011 when it was created by Patti Thomas, and Johnny and Brittany Gobble.
The cats live up to their wolfish appearance by displaying very dog-like traits. They sniff things out, they like to fetch, and they display a dog-like dedication to their owners. Only one problem, they’re very rare and can cost upwards of $2000.
Pigeons were traditionally bred for racing, showing off, or even food, so they’ve been subject to lots of selective breeding to make them faster, more distinctive, and tastier. Pigeon fanciers breed the Budapest Pigeon especially to have these huge bug-like eyes. The Poltl brothers developed the breed in the early twentieth century to create efficient flyers for pigeon racing.
They were successful as the Budapest pigeon can stay in flight for up to five hours while giving you the stink eye. No one knows why those massive eyes would help pigeons with staying up in the air unless they’re secretly filled with helium. Budapest pigeons now spend their time entering competitions where they have no problems standing out.
Cute, furry, and easy to care for, guinea pigs make great first pets, but it’d probably be harder to love the skinny pig, the guinea pig’s weird cousin, which looks like it just narrowly escaped from Chernobyl.
The mostly hairless breed was created in 1978 when scientists bred standard guinea pigs with lab-raised ones that carried a spontaneous genetic mutation that left them without hair. The fully bald lab pigs had been used for dermatology experiments, but when they started breeding with their hairier cousins the outcome was more deserving of the name were-pig than skinny pig.
Popular pets include toy dogs: miniature-sized canines that can be carried about by their owners. But there’s a terrifying trend of breeding puppies so tiny they can fit inside a teacup. Teacup Puppies are cute and fashionable and make excellent Instagram posts.
But these designer dogs can develop all kinds of health issues, and not just because they’re so small you could accidentally squish one with your bare feet. Because of their size, their skeleton is very fine, which means that jumping about like a normal puppy can result in painful broken bones.
Tiny dogs can also suffer from organ failure. Rescue centers are even seeing brand new complications: one chihuahua named Pip was born with half her brain missing. That’s a high price to pay for a fashion accessory, don’t you think?
Meet the Ankole-Watusi Cow, the Royal Ox and Cattle of Kings, which has some of the biggest horns in the world, measuring up to eight feet long. It’s also one of the heaviest breeds of cattle, weighing between 900 and 1600 pounds.
Herdsmen in East Africa selectively bred female Ankole-Watusi cows with large horns so that the females could defend themselves and their offspring better against predators, such as lions and jackals.
Bizarrely, even though those horns look incredibly heavy, this cow is very nimble and can run and jump with great agility. Remember, cows are more dangerous than you think and kill more than twenty people a year.
Gibber Italicus Canary
Canaries make popular songbird pets and probably make you think of a cute yellow bird, perching on a little swing inside a cage. The Gibber Italicus Canary, however, is bred to look very particular. Its distinctive posture takes the form of a number seven, which is exactly what its owners want to see.
Due to the intensive inbreeding that plagues this bird, they often have shorter lifespans and lower fertility, and if they do manage to produce offspring, they have a very low chance of survival. I’d give this bird a seven out of ten for the horrors of selective breeding.
Back in the 1990s, fish enthusiasts had a special admiration for fish with humps on their heads. Breeders in Malaysia crossed red devil and three spot cichlids from Central America with hybrid blood parrot cichlids from Taiwan to create the Flowerhorn Cichlid or tumor fish.
It’s a completely artificial breed that looks like an intelligent lifeform from another dimension. The Flowerhorn Cichlid is so aggressive that often bites its owner’s hand during feeding time. As if to add to its creepiness even further, its favorite snack is blood worms.
When you breed a domestic dog with a wolf, you get a hybrid called a Wolfdog. While this rarely happens in the wild, genetically there’s only a 0.2% difference in the DNA between a dog and a grey wolf.
Wolfdogs have become a lucrative trade for breeders, especially for fans of Game of Thrones who want their own dire wolf. But a Wolfdog is much more wolf than a dog. Once it’s grown, it becomes wilder and more wolf-like, and soon its owner discovers they’re sharing their home with a wild animal.
Despite knowing that they’ve literally bought a pet that is half-wolf, the animal’s true lupine nature still takes people by surprise. So don’t go buying wolfdogs, folks, or you might get exactly what you deserve.
I hope you were amazed at these weird animals we have bred into existence. You might also want to read our article about the scariest hybrid animals! Thanks for reading!